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Huntington Beach City Council Approves Temporary Financial Relief Programs to Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

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City Council Authorizes Temporary Relief

During tonight’s special meeting, the Huntington Beach City Council voted to approve two forms of temporary financial relief, including rent abatement for certain tenants of City-owned facilities and a suspension on water shutoffs for delinquent bills.  These relief programs are designed to mitigate some of the significant financial burdens that our community members are currently experiencing, due to the unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Temporary Suspension of Water Shutoffs

In response to the major economic impacts on every day residents, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order No. N-28-20, authorizing local governments to protect essential services by suspending utility shutoffs for customers who cannot pay their bills during the pandemic.  In response, the City Council approved a request to temporarily suspend water shutoffs, penalties, and/or late fees for accounts that are delinquent due to economic hardship caused by COVID-19.  This temporary suspension will remain in effect until May 31, 2020, unless extended.  Following its expiration, the City will establish a program for these customers to pay their outstanding bills over the course of two years or less.  The program does not relieve customers’ obligations to pay bills that accrued during the suspension period or for City to recover payment. 

Rent Abatement for Certain Tenants of City-owned Facilities

Since Governor Newsom’s Stay At Home Executive Order went into effect, many local concessionaires who rent city owned facilities were either required to close or have experienced a dramatic reduction in business. 

Several concessionaire owners have reached out to City staff requesting assistance as a result of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.  The majority of these concessionaires are small, family-owned businesses that are significantly impacted. By implementing a rent abatement for affected tenants, the City will help mitigate the financial burden caused by COVID-19 and, hopefully, prevent the permanent closure of these businesses.

The City believes that these measures, along with its other COVID-19 related services will help supplement the efforts of its renters and customers to address their financial burdens over the next several months.  Together, the City and its community members can work to overcome these uncertain times, as One HB.

For more information on City services and COVID-19 updates, please call our live Call Center at (714) 536-5511 or visit our website at www.HBready.com.  Updates are also posted to the City’s social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Link to Press Release PDF here

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